Fear Digital disruption… or be the disrupter.
Ogilvy’s ‘Key Digital Trends for 2017’ report highlights the misconceptions inherent in many of today’s conversations about digital disruption. While exploring nascent realms like chatbots, artificial intelligence, driverless cars, the report highlights a key, overarching theme:
Digital disruption is not about computers and smartphones, or even apps.
As a term, digital disruption represents something far broader. It speaks to an organisation’s ability to develop the dynamism, the agility, to provide new services via digital channels, serving consumer needs in real time or close to real time.
This agility allows you to roll out new services and capture emerging opportunities, as you approach markets in entirely new ways. In the digital era, each service must be personalised (not segmented, but truly personalised) to every individual user.
Yes, all in all, digital disruption is a daunting task. It’s no wonder that Accenture’s recent paper, ‘Thriving on Disruption’, revealed that over-500 Chief Strategy Officers polled, “not a single strategy executive mentioned any attempt at disrupting their own industries first.”
“In fact, few had any specific plans at all for weathering disruptive innovation."
It’s here that the concept of ‘future surfing’ enters the scene. Clearly, the waves of change are coming (in some cases it’s a tsunami about to batter our shores). Do we sit on the beach and watch, or drown as the digital tide sweeps through every industry? Or, do we get ourselves fit, and equip ourselves with a surfboard… turning the waves to our advantage, and smartly using our energies to ride the best of them?
Like a surfboard keeping us afloat on the churning ocean, for forward-looking organisations, a low-code digital development platform could be the surfboard that allows them to become a true ‘future surfer’.
In his Harvard Business Review article, Bureaucracy must die, Gary Hamel notes that an estimated 30% of all corporate activity is not merely unnecessary, but actually dangerous or counterproductive to value creation.
“I have increasingly come to believe that even the most competent organizations also suffer from a clutch of core incompetencies,” he notes. It’s these core incompetencies that must be relentlessly hunted and killed, to make room for the essential competencies you need to face the future. With a digital platform at the centre, you can start to root-out all the activities not helping to drive organisational transformation.
Openness as a philosophy
Essentially, your platform must allow you to operate both your existing (legacy) business processes, while also preparing for changes: new systems, new tools, new processes, etc. Your platform must allow others within your ecosystem to create and exchange value. To catch the really big, exciting waves of change, you’re going to need the very best training, fitness regime, and of course the best surfboard.
If you are going to get ahead of the change upending your industry, your innovations, services, products and processes must extend across the entire organisational ecosystem.
Yes, classical organisational hierarchies need to go; but what replaces them in the new digital era?
We suggest aiming for a lean enterprise structure, leveraging your digital platform, with the mindset to continually learn, adapt and seize leadership opportunities at every turn.
As far as possible, train your team’s’ focus to be on the customers and the end-users, or on the ecosystem in which you’re operating. The goal is to minimise distractions and create focus for your business, while at the same time eliminating fuzziness, and reducing your risk of being disrupted.
With all of this in place, it starts to become possible to survive the digital tides barrelling towards us. It’s only by aligning our thinking, technology, processes, skills development, cultures and investments that we can hope to ride these waves.
Download our whitepaper on becoming a future-surfing enterprise: "Digital Disruption. Not if you’re the disrupter".